Languid Lounging, part 2

I got stuck into this one straight away.

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Using my favourite trick for sewing the HSTs takes all the guesswork and margin for error out of the process.

It’s going to be some squares, some half square triangles, finished block size 4″, 4 rows of 4 to give a 16″ square pillow. Mainly because that’s the size of pillow insert I’ve got… But I prefer a small, plump pillow to a big one. The larger ones are either too well stuffed and rather firm, or under stuffed and too floppy. I’m going to be spending a bit of quality time on the sofa, and I want it comfy…

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Lining up the pattern was a total accident, for which I claim no credit!

I’ve had this fabric selection for some time; I love the combination of black, white, grey and acid lime, and I have remnants of the olive/lime shot cotton I used for the back of Broken Bottles for the backs of these pillows. I’m going to do a very simple back, no fancy hidden zippers or envelope backs. A zipper straight across the centre back, with a placket to cover the teeth. The only fancy bit is that the zipper is grey to match the front fabrics, instead of the olive/lime fabric. A bit silly, perhaps, considering it’s going to be hidden, but I like hidden details.

I’m going to quilt the fronts, which will help to give the pillow body. I think there’s going to be enough fabric for 3 or 4 of them, so each pillow is going to have a different front layout and quilting design.  They’re small, so I can get fancy on that bit. Machine quilting, though, I want to be using them very soon!

Any useful scraps will probably get turned into a set of matching mug coasters. Big bits will get returned to the stash. Did I say before how much I love these fabrics – especially the grey spot and the lime HST design?

It’s such a luxury having a cutting table that’s just for cutting…. No clearing away all the time.

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Broken Bottles #13: Finished, finally

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 4.31.33 PMIt’s done.  OK, I still have to sew on a label, but the quilt’s finished.

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 4.32.32 PMThe quilting is just spacey enough that it’s still soft and drapes well. The broken glass starburst isn’t too overpowering on the front, and adds a bit of interest and texture on the back. I had just enough of everything, and a nice bit of the green shot backing cotton left to do something else with. There isn’t a single jelly roll strip left over, and the two spare blocks which I made into a heat pad are doing service on my desk as a pad under the camera.  I like a tidy result…. Oh, and it’s a Friday Finish!

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 4.31.55 PMTime to go and defluff the sewing machine and put a new needle in. Amistad’s the next quilt in line, woo hoo!

Broken Bottles #12: Quilted, quite


Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.49.13 PM Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.49.26 PM Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.49.37 PMIt’s done. The quilting is finished.

A little unpicking, a little re-sewing, but nothing too drastic. It’s finished, trimmed out, de-threaded, and the binding is made, ready to sew on tomorrow. By the end of the day, it should be done, labelled, finished. I must go and dig out a label transfer and a bit of white fabric…. Weather permitting, once it’s done I can hang it on the clothesline as usual to get a better photo. My hands are still a bit sore from all the heavy work of the past few days, but luckily sewing doesn’t seem to make it worse.

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.50.00 PMAlso today, I treated myself to three new dressmaking patterns. Rather good value, actually, since they were half price, and three of the two were for multiple garments. So for $27 I have patterns for a tunic and medium pants, a wrap dress, a wrap top, wide leg pants, narrow leg pants, a coat, a jacket, a vest, and a simple dress / pinafore / jumper in two lengths.

First up will probably be the wrap dress, since I don’t have a really pretty dress to go out in, all my pretty outfits are separates. And for the dress, I’m going with a fabulous slinky matte jersey splashy print in teal and aqua on a white background which I have hoarded for a few years but never done anything with due to lack of overlocker. It’s loud, but this IS the tropics, after all… And then I shall make something from my cream and chocolate floral silhouette print, and then, and then….

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.50.24 PMScreen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.50.35 PMIt’s good to be back at the sewing machine. The baby vegies are fine on their own, I have projects lined up, and time to play.

On the chain gang

I’m very tired.

Between us, the Husband and I have shifted a cubic metre of fist-sized river stone, and a cubic metre of hardwood wood chips, dug up about 7 square metres of turf, laid weed matting and got all three garden pods ready for their planting medium. It’s been warm, sunny weather, and we’ve laboured hard.

So, no gleeful exposition of finished quilts. In between times, while the Husband is getting his afternoon sleep before night shift, I get a little sewing done. But I’m usually tired, achey and my hands are sore, so I’m not making much progress.

I haven’t been entirely lacking in creativity, though:

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Egglantine has now joined her earlier sisters Eggatha and Eggnes.  And that will be quite enough of that. As my friend Cath over at Wombat Quilts (http://wombatquilts.com) says, perhaps it’s time for an intervention…?  They are, after all, just egg cosies.

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And I’ve made a nice heat pad from the two spare Broken Bottles blocks. Maybe I’ll send it to Yvonne with her quilt. Or maybe I’ll keep it for myself. I’ll see how generous I feel when the quilt’s ready. And speaking of Broken Bottles, the quilting is about 2/3 done. There’s one bit I have to unpick, it’s looking a bit bulgy, but it’s just a small line. For the rest, I’m pleased with how it’s going.

Off to rest my weary bones. Tomorrow is the day for getting the lucerne hay and compost for the pods, and then, finally, I can plant!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend.

Broken Bottles #11: Breaking glass

I’ve started quilting. And it did not begin well…

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I know I like big stitch quilting, but this is ridiculous

I foolishly thought I’d mark the straight lines with masking tape. That would have been OK if the lines didn’t intersect. For anyone out there thinking of marking with masking tape: Do it only where lines do not cross or intersect. If you build up the layers of tape and stitch through them, you will spend many painful, pointless and frustrating hours snipping and picking with tweezers, pulling out stitching and having to redo it. On the other hand, if the lines don’t intersect, it’s a very good way of stitching along a straight line. I thought that masking tape would pull out of stitching like in paper piecing. Not. Not even close. A valuable lesson learned: Do not layer the masking tape.

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You can see the starburst /shatter beginning to appear

Next bit of fun. My trusty and recently-serviced Janome had a large hissy fit. I have unpicked metres of dodgy stitching. My patience has been sorely tried. But after much bad language and rethreading the machine and reseating the bobbin three times, it finally decided to stitch properly.

Now we’re getting somewhere. I have all the main radiating lines done and the quilt is stabilised. I’ve started the cross lines and the additional radiating lines. I’m happy with how it looks. There’s a fair bit still to do: I have about a third of it done, and may well add more lines here and there if I feel there are saggy areas that need more quilting. The back looks particularly nice; the quilting really brings out the sheen of the shot cotton.

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Still fabulous, and now more interesting because of the texture

Tomorrow I have to go and move more stones in the morning. But if I don’t completely ruin my back, I’ll get back onto the quilting in the afternoon. I think I may get it finished by the end of the weekend.

But now, it’s time for a cup of tea and a home made peanut butter and choc chip cookie.

Broken Bottles #10: Pinned, perfectly

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I used about twice the normal amount of safety pins…

It’s done, and I didn’t even have to grovel. I checked with my back and knees, and they told me that if I got down on the floor, there’d be industrial action and a few days of grief. So I took the whole shebang outside to my l.o.n.g patio table, taped the short edge of the backing to one edge, and drew the fabric tight across, putting the rest in a roll on the seats of 4 chairs to hold the tension. Then the batting, same deal, and then the top. Once I’d done the top half, I unstuck the tape, and rolled it the other way to do the lower half.

Screen shot 2014-05-17 at 12.03.51 PMI worked quite fast, as the wind is picking up and we’re promised rain later, but it’s done. The thing is totally flat and heavily pinned; wrinkles and puckers are not welcome here. Yes, OK, I had to put in two and a half boxes of safety pins, but I didn’t need to bend over. Instead of being in pain and over the whole business, I’m ready to get quilting! Or I would be, if I didn’t need to go and stuff up my back in other ways, digging up turf in the vegie garden…

Screen shot 2014-05-17 at 12.03.33 PMIn the event, I decided not to piece the spare blocks into the back, so it’s just plain. And gorgeous. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that shot green? Maybe these two photos give you an inkling: it’s the colour of fresh, green growing things, and after quilting, my next favourite thing is gardening…

Right. Time for a cup of coffee, and then I have to go and tackle the back yard.

Broken Bottles #9: Green, and gorgeous

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 1.39.21 PMI have found the most beautiful shot cotton for the backing.

It’s in a colour called ‘green tea’, and it’s a lime weft thread on a dark olive warp. Truly beautiful. I have bought just a tiny bit more than I need for the backing, because I want some good scraps of it. But only a tiny bit… I may have to go back. It’s brighter than most of the other greens, but it sort of lights up the quilt. I have just enough dark green leafy print to do the binding with about 16″ left over. Close, but not too scary.

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 1.40.32 PMI’m going to piece the back. The seams will be horizontal, the full WOF across the bottom, then a seam and inset squares, one of them straight strips, and two diagonals, offset and surrounded by plain green, then another seam and the top half also green. That way, I use up the three squares I have left over, give the back a bit of fun, and give myself a few more bits of scrap. Cunning plan, eh? On the other hand, if I use one of the squares for the front of a sofa cushion with a border around it, backed with the shot cotton, that would also be fabulous. No, I don’t think I can be that noble. The scraps are mine!